South Sudan conflict: Left in danger

South Sudan conflict: The poor are left in danger | World Vision Blog

Margaret and her children at a Catholic church where they’ve taken shelter in Juba. (©2014 Nhial Wei/World Vision)

Medina and Margret are just two among hundreds of thousands in South Sudan who have been driven from their homes by the fighting that escalated last month. Left with little in a disrupted economy, they want to take their families away from the conflict but can’t afford to, leaving them to seek sanctuary wherever they can. Read the story of these two families, and learn what World Vision is doing to help.

A lucky orphan gets a goat

A Lucky Orphan Gets a Goat | World Vision Blog

Abdul, 15, and his uncle with one of the goats the received through World Vision's Gift Catalog. (Photo: 2013 Abby Stalsbroten/World Vision)

Orphaned at the age of 3, Abdul in Sierra Leone has grown up with his uncle's family. When World Vision came to his community, his family grew when he was sponsored. Read how Abdul's life – and the lives of his whole family and community – has been improved through sponsorship and World Vision's Gift Catalog!

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo

Ambassadors of hope for the Congo | World Vision Blog

Martine, recently treated for malnutrition, with her nurse Chiquette in the Ledia community, DRC, December 2012. (Photo: Alice Bafiala Mutombo/World Vision)

World Vision's Child Ambassadors are a network of volunteers and sponsors who go out into their communities as advocates for child sponsorship. This year, they're aiming to maximize their impact by focusing their efforts on a new sponsorship community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo called Ledia. Read why!

Gautam's sweet dreams

Gautam's sweet dreams | World Vision Blog

Gautam and his mother, Joyanti. (Photo: 2013 Md. Golam Ehsanul Habib/World Vision)

Saturday was Human Trafficking Awareness Day! How did you spread the word about this important issue?

Today's story comes from Bangladesh, where millions of children are caught up in child labor when their families can't afford to provide. Two years ago, Gautam's family couldn't afford more than two meals a day, to repair their home, or to send Gautam to school; now, Gautam sleeps well with a new roof and full belly, and goes to school. See how sponsorship helped keep him out of child labor!

Five things you need to know about Syria's refugee crisis

Five things you need to know about Syria's refugee crisis | World Vision Blog

Jordan continues to face one of the harshest winters on record and many refugees do not have winter clothing. World Vision is now distributing over 30,000 winter coats to children aged 2-12 living in Za'atari Refugee Camp. (Photo: 2014 World Vision)

Now in its third winter, the toll of the Syrian refugee crisis continues to rise. Here are five facts you should know about this crisis, and what World Vision is doing to help.

The Apple of my eye

The apple of my eye | World Vision Blog

Sponsored child Apple takes care of her baby sister, Roalyn. Apple's family is one of many affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Their home was damaged by the typhoon. (©2013 Annila Harris/World Vision)

Today marks two months since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines. After the storm, World Vision communicator Annila Harris visited survivors and met sponsored child Apple, whose family is benefiting from World Vision relief supplies. The way this little girl cared for her baby sister, Roalyn, taught Annila that even when a disaster takes away almost everything, the most important thing in life is still family.

Aid worker’s blog: Each other’s miracle

Aid worker's blog: Each other's miracle | World Vision Blog

Even after Typhoon Haiyan totally destroyed their house, the family of sponsored child Juliana remains grateful that they are alive. (©2013 Florence Joy Maluyo/World Vision)

Wednesday marks two months since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, causing immense devastation and loss of life. World Vision quickly mobilized more than 200 local staff members to help reach almost 400,000 survivors with relief operations.

Today, Florence, one of our team members on the ground, reflects on the past two months and the amazing love and hope she has felt from around the world as we all became each other’s miracle.

Roots and wings

Roots and wings | World Vision Blog

Zebra is a former child soldier who benefited from World Vision’s Rebound project. Today, he has his own carpentry business and is able to lead a normal life. (©2012 Gilbertine Julie Uwimana/World Vision)

A few months ago, World Vision communicator Jeremie Olivier traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and met children benefiting from World Vision’s Rebound project, which helps rehabilitate former child soldiers and prostitutes. Read about his encounter with Zawadi and how this teenager is finding her wings through mechanics.

Top 13 blog posts of 2013

Top 13 blog posts of 2013 | World Vision Blog

A girl in Sri Lanka at a World Vision program's closing ceremony, featured in our photoblog "A beginning and an end" in May. (Photo: Matthew Paul Turner)

2013 was a very busy year! The social media team ran and supported a wide variety of programs and work, sharing joy, answering the question Why World Vision?, promoting books and films, and responding to disasters. Out of the hundreds of blog posts published this year, here’s a list of my – and your! –  favorites.

Vote for your favorite! Whichever post gets the most comments below, I’ll look into doing a follow-up post later in 2014!

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity

Year-end giving: How to choose a charity | World Vision Blog

A dead tree adorned with food colors sealed in plastic becomes a symbol of the holiday season in the Philippines. (Photo: 2013 World Vision)

Within these last few days of the year, many people take this opportunity to squeeze in one more charitable donation as an extra write-off for their taxes. Your tax forms don’t care where that money goes, as long as it’s a charity, but you probably do. You’ll want to make sure that your money is going to a good organization.

But what does that mean? And how can you know?

Top five ways in 2013 to give

Top 5 ways to give of 2013 | World Vision Blog

Ou Sypha, 16, reads the birthday card he received from his sponsor to his friends. (Photo: ©2013 Sopheak Kong/World Vision)

2013 has been an amazing year (but maybe I’m biased; it was my first year with World Vision!) From responding to natural disasters and refugee crises to bringing clean water to a new person every 30 seconds, we’ve been doing great work around the world this year, and we look forward to continuing this work in 2014.

You can help! Are you considering making one more tax-deductible donation before 2013 is over? Here are five categories that have been important in 2013 — to us, to our donors, and to the children we’re serving. Make your choice today!

Day 24: Share your blessings

Day 24: Share your blessings | World Vision Blog

You are our blessing! Thanks to all of our supporters who make our work possible. We’ve encouraged you this month to Share #Joy … here’s a compilation of how our friends have shared and received joy this season.

Day 23: Share creatively

Day 23: Share creatively | World Vision Blog

World Vision donor Rachel Britz has established a family tradition of giving with her children, each choosing a Gift Catalog item to give every year. “This is going to be our family’s legacy,” she says.

Day 21: Share faith

Day 21: Share faith | World Vision Blog

Today, rejoice with us about the work God is doing through a small church in Wyoming. Read about their “Coins for the Kingdom” ministry that has already raised money for a wide variety of Gift Catalog items!

Day 20: Share comfort

Day 20: Share comfort | World Vision Blog

“When one has nothing, God will open a door for them, is what they say. And He has opened it.” —Aishwarya, India. Today’s video tells her story; see what is giving her #joy!